As I drove home from a less than wonderful day at work-- (a) too much time on tedious tasks that don't add a line to my vita, (b) unproductive writing, realizing too late that I already had the info I needed saved elsewhere, (c) having to explain to a student that lifting sentences directly from a published source IS plagerism, and (d) a student showing up to my office one hour before the exam asking if I could go over the lecture they missed 2 weeks ago. Yes, all of these things are annoying, some are disheartening, others are just utterly time consuming; but, my thought today driving home was how much I really love what I do.
I love it when a student gets the break through moment where they finally understand a difficult concept. I love it when a student asks a really good thought provoking question. I love it when a student comes to my office and asks a question I cannot answer and we talk through the problem and find the solution together. I love it when I get a great idea for a research project that I just have to add to my research journal (in hopes that one day I can look into it more and develop the idea into a project). I love it when I finally figure out how to organize what I'm writing (when it seems like I have been stuck in a rut for eternity). I love it when I get to think about planning the next course I will teach, the next paper I will write, the next study that I will design, and the next set of data that I will analyze.